The Reason You're Alive by Matthew Quick

the reason you're alive_matthew quick_the juliet report

By Matthew Quick
226 pages, Picador

“Most morons don’t have enough class to bring anything to a dinner party. Pay attention and you can spot a moron a mile away.” pg 73

"Maybe it was because he was wearing a suit, like a proper American and not a bin laden desert bathrobe." pg 66.

“You can also judge the strength of a man’s character by the condition of his hands. My surgeon’s hands look like they’re made of the smoothest china. He wouldn't have lasted ten seconds in the jungle.” pg 5


These are just snippets of some of the things David Granger, a retired Vietnam Veteran will say in Matthew Quick’s new book ‘The Reason You’re Alive.”

David Granger has just had brain surgery and begins telling you his life story, from his days at war to his eventual search for closure and atonement. At first, you may take offense to some of the things that he says, or the way he categorises people. But it won’t take you long to start liking him and even recognising his personality traits in people you actually know. You realise that he’s just being honest and means no harm, and you may even start laughing at some of the audacious things that come out of his mouth.

To continue with the theme of honesty, this is usually not the type of book I would pick up to read, and I haven’t read or watched Quick’s New York Times bestselling book ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’. So I had no idea what to expect, but the truth is I couldn’t put the book down, I just wanted to hear more and more of Granger’s story.

I am actually really happy that the publishers have picked this up and put it out there for us to read. I think we need more books like this. Books that challenge your world view regardless of where you stand on the ‘right or left' scale. Books and stories that encourage tolerance of others, even if you don’t agree with everything that they’re saying. And not just putting people into a box or category just because they used a word that you think is racist or inappropriate. But taking the time to see where these people are coming from and not just shaming people for their thoughts.

Surprisingly Quick had finished writing this book long before Trump was elected president. He says in an interview on ‘The One You Feed’ Podcast, one of his motivations for writing this book was because he was frustrated, “it’s frustrating…and so often times I find myself in isolation in the middle, not politically in the middle, I just don’t want to pick a team and dismiss a whole group of human beings based on their political preferences.” Something that we’re seeing more and more of out there in our world these days.

The Reason You’re Alive’ is currently being adapted into a screenplay by Quick as Miramax is bringing it to the big screen.